Shower Wall and Base Buying Guide: Read this First!

By thewriteDuffy •  Updated: 06/07/24 •  5 min read

An essential part of the bathroom remodel or building of a new house would be finding the perfect shower. While showers are greatly dependent upon available space and plumbing, there are still certain things to be aware of when it comes time to go shopping for the pieces and parts of a shower.

This buyer’s guide will specifically look at shower bases, walls and doors. Showers are available in two common types, one where the base is a bathtub, and one that is strictly a shower – this buyer’s guide will focus on shower only.

Some shower bases and wall come together as a package but often times the pieces can be selected separately based on style and material preferences.

Shower Construction Materials: From Acrylic to Cast Iron Bases?

A basic shower base will be made most likely from acrylic while higher end bases are acrylic reinforced with fiberglass for a longer-lasting product. Another option would be cast iron shower bases which are known for fighting bacteria but will require an appropriate cleaner and cannot be scrubbed with wire or steel wool sponges or brushes.

Alternatively, for a leakproof base shower base liners are available to create the base for a concrete shower base which can be decorated with tiles or rock for an aesthetic look. Rubber bases are also used for people concerned with safety hazards of a slipper shower base.

As for shower walls, the most common material would be glass with either aluminum or brass accents. Glass is available in clear or frosted. Frosted glass doesn’t look dirty as quickly as clear and provide an additional layer of privacy for someone showering but clear glass adds the look of luxury and precision to the bathroom.

Measuring for the Perfect Shower Fit: Tips and Tricks

It is important to find the best size shower for the bathroom to ensure the maximum amount of room for showering without overbearing the rest of the bathroom making it uncomfortable to navigate in and out.

To determine the best size shower for a bathroom, determine where the shower will be installed (keeping in mind it will need a drain and a place to install water faucets) and measuring the available space. Keep in mind that there are shower bases available for corners as well as flat walls which allow for the most efficient use of space.

When shopping for doors simply ensure that their size corresponds with the size of the shower base.

Selecting the Best Shower Doors: Hinged or Sliding?

Shower doors typically come as part of the shower wall set. Shower doors can be hinged to open and either close or be on a track to slide open, depending on your personal preference.

Investing in quality shower walls and doors will ensure a longer-lasting product that is less likely to do things like fall out of its slider or fall off its hinges.

Shower Sets: All-in-One Solutions

If you do not want to purchase the walls and base separately there are shower enclosures available for sale which come as a complete package.

Shower enclosures are made from the same materials and the same considerations should be taken when shopping for an enclosure as opposed to walls and a base.

DIY vs Professional Shower Installation: What You Need to Know

Showers are usually installed when a house is being built or doing a remodel.

Installing a shower by yourself can be a difficult task and if DIY projects are not something you do regularly it might be best to hire a professional to install the shower for you. Things you will need to install a shower include:

Key Considerations Before Purchasing Your Shower Set

When shopping for a shower base and walls consider things like which direction the door will open (or if the shower door is able to be installed to open either direction is ideal), how heavy the package will be when arrives and how you will get the pieces up to the bathroom where it will be installed.

Conclusion: Final Touches for Your Bathroom Project

That wraps up our guide on choosing shower walls and bases. For a complete bathroom setup, you might also find these guides useful:

These guides are here to help you make informed decisions for your bathroom renovation or build.


At home, April is a mom, wife, and DIY darling. Among other home projects, she helped her husband Dan renovate their 1986 bungalow and is currently designing and decorating the 2023 custom home they are building themselves. Professionally, April is a writer, author, and online marketer with 15 years of experience writing for newspapers and magazines, building online authority websites, and publishing books.